Binance, a global Blockchain entity and crypto exchange, has been actively acquiring licenses in the GCC region since the beginning of 2022. The first license came out of Bahrain, and the second out of Dubai UAE. Yet from the onset Binance followers were well aware of discussions being held with UAE Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) for a license in Abu Dhabi which if happens would be the second license for Binance in the UAE. This second license could well be on its way given the current hiring spree at Binance.
In March 2022, Binance on LinkedIn, posted two job openings in Abu Dhabi, one for a senior Executive Officer to be based in Abu Dhabi, and the other for Compliance and Money Laundering Reporting Officer (CMLRO in Abu Dhabi as well.
As per the job post for Senior Executive officer, Binance is looking for someone for their Abu Dhabi entity. It reads, “The Senior Executive Officer serves as chief executive for our Abu Dhabi entity and, in partnership with the Board, is responsible for the success of the Firm. Together, the Board and Senior Executive Officer assure the accomplishment of the Firm’s mission and vision.”
One of the key responsibilities would be to ensure that Binance complies with all relevant laws, regulation, and code of best business practice. In addition the applicant should have a minimum of 10 years’ experience as Managing Director for a FinTech or financial service company.
It is the second Job posting that clearly links Binance to the possible soon to be granted license in Abu Dhabi. Binance has posted a job opening for Compliance Officer and Money Laundering Reporting Officer, which is as per the post, an FSRA authorized role. FSRA is the regulatory arm of Abu Dhabi Global Market, the issuer of MTF (Multi trading Facilities) licensing in Abu Dhabi.
As per the post, the role of COMLRO aims to serve as a main point of contact to all its regulators, law enforcement and other competent bodies and authorities and advises the staff, the Securities and Exchange Organization, and the Board on relevant regulatory and internal compliance policy matters.
In addition the role entails ensuring effective implementation of the firm’s AML/CTF policies and procedures and compliance with the regulations of the Central Bank of the UAE, FSRA’s AML Rulebook and international best practices. In addition the candidate will have to serve as a point of contact for the FSRA (ADGM), UAE Police Forces, and the Central Bank of the UAE and any other competent authorities of the UAE for AML/CTF issues.
This clearly reflects that Binance seeks to be regulated by ADGM FSRA, the UAE Securities and Commodities Exchange, which is different from the current license its holds in Dubai with VARA and Dubai World Trade Center Authority.
The UAE has become a hot bed for crypto, and crypto regulation. Recently ADGM issued its consultation paper for an updated Virtual assets regulatory framework that included NFTs in the mix. Prior to that Dubai had launched its Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority, which would also include regulations for NFT trading. It is noteworthy that Binance launched its NFT marketplace back in June 2021.
Given the work being done in UAE to foster the crypto economy and given the activities happening on Binance crypto exchange front, we might soon be witnessing another license for Binance in the MENA region and in UAE in specific.